Today is Tuesday, May 27, the 147th day of 2014. There are 218 days left in the year.
Highlights in history on this date:
1647 - The first recorded American execution of a "witch" takes place in Salem, Massachusetts.
1896 - A tornado strikes St. Louis and East St. Louis, Illinois, killing 255 people.
1905 - Japanese annihilate Russian Baltic fleet of 35 ships in Tsushima Straits off Korea, ending the Russo-Japanese war and forcing the European powers to treat Japan as an equal.
1918 - German forces launch major offensive on Western Front in World War I.
1927 - Japan intervenes in Shantung, blocking advance of Chinese Nationalists on Beijing.
1936 - Britain's luxury liner Queen Mary begins maiden voyage across Atlantic Ocean.
1937 - The Golden Gate Bridge connecting San Francisco and Marin County, California, is opened to the public.
1941 - German battleship Bismarck is sunk by British Navy off France in World War II, with loss of 2,300 lives.
1942 - Gestapo chief Reinhard Heydrich is assassinated by Czech and Slovak resistance fighters.
1956 - India claims suzerainty over Chitral, which had been under Pakistani rule since 1947.
1960 - Turkey's reformist military under Gen. Cemal Gursel overthrows the civilian government.
1971 - Soviet Union signs 15-year pact with Egypt, pledging assistance in recovery of all Arab territories occupied by Israel.
1979 - Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin announce the opening of the border between Egypt and Israel.
1988 - Syrian troops move into southern slums of Beirut, Lebanon, halting three weeks of savage street battles between rival Shiite Muslim factions.
1990 - More than 72 percent of Myanmar's eligible voters turn out to elect a new parliament. The military never allows it to convene, and continues to rule the country, as they have since overthrowing the last democratic government in a 1962 coup.
1991 - Kuwait's opposition leaders meet with the emir to demand that the constitution be restored and an end to martial law imposed after Iraq invaded the country.
1994 - Dissident writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn returns to Russia after 20 years in exile.
1995 - In Brazil, people form lines a kilometer (half mile) long to buy cooking gas, as state workers defy a court order to stop their 25-day strike.
1996 - Russian President Boris Yeltsin negotiates a cease-fire to the war in Chechnya in his first meeting with the rebels' leader.
1998 - Japan's Emperor Akihito speaks sympathetically of the suffering of Britain's former World War II POWs as they protest his visit to England.
1999 - The U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, the Netherlands, announces the indictment of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and four of his aides for war crimes in Kosovo. It is the first time a sitting head of state is indicted for war crimes.
2000 - Northern Ireland's major Protestant party narrowly votes to revive a power-sharing government with Catholics, the key goal of the province's 1998 peace agreement.
2001 - Occupants of Kariwa, a Japanese village, home to the world's largest nuclear power plant, vote against a proposal to use recycled plutonium at the facility. The referendum was the first-ever on one of Japan's most contentious energy policies.
2002 - Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf delivers a nationally televised address on the threat of war with India over Kashmir. India has 750,000 troops on the border and Pakistan has 250,000.
2005 - A suspected suicide bomber strikes at a Muslim shrine close to the residence of Pakistan's prime minister and the diplomatic enclave in Islamabad, leaving at least 20 mostly Shiite worshippers dead and scores wounded.
2006 - Gay rights activists are pummeled by right-wing protesters and detained by police to prevent them from mounting a gay pride parade in Moscow in defiance of a city ban.
2007 - U.S. and Iraqi forces free 42 kidnapped Iraqis -- some of whom had been hung from ceilings and tortured for months -- in a raid on an al-Qaida hideout north of Baghdad.
2008 - Myanmar's military government renews pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's detention for one year. Also, international aid workers finally enter Myanmar's cyclone-devastated delta after being blocked for more than three weeks by the country's ruling junta.
2009 - North Korea threatens military strikes on US, South Korean ships and renounces a 1953 truce agreement halting the Korean war fighting, an escalation of tensions in the wake of Pyongyang's nuclear test.
2010 - U.S. activist Lori Berenson walks out of prison in Peru smiling but gets a chilly reception from her new neighbors after serving three-quarters of a 20-year sentence for aiding leftist rebels.
2011 -- Former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic is captured in a routine raid as he heads out to his garden for a pre-dawn walk in the tiny northern Serbian village of Lazarevo.
2012 -- The military chief of the violent Basque separatist group is arrested in southern France along with another man accused of being his assistant.
2013 -- A coordinated wave of bombings tears through mostly Shiite areas of Baghdad, killing at least 66 people and maiming nearly 200 as insurgents step up the bloodshed roiling Iraq.
Ibn Khaldun, Arab historian (1332-1406); Wild Bill Hickok, U.S. sheriff (1837-1876); Cornelius Vanderbilt, U.S. shipping/railroad magnate (1794-1877); Isadora Duncan, U.S. dancer (1878-1927); Rachel Carson, U.S. biologist/writer (1907-1964); Vincent Price, U.S. actor (1911-1993); Henry Kissinger, former U.S. secretary of state (1923--); Pat Cash, Australian tennis champion (1965--); Jamie Oliver, British TV chef (1975--); Paul Bettany, British actor (1971--); Andre 3000, U.S. rapper (1975--).
Thought For Today:
Great wisdom is generous; petty wisdom is contentious. Great speech is impassioned, small speech cantankerous -- Chuang-Tzu, Chinese essayist (c.369-c.286 B.C.)